Thursday, May 24, 2012

I am an Alien

Yes, you read it right. I am an Alien. Surprised? Well, ask US government. According to them I am classified as Alien and have been assigned an Alien ID while I am in the country. Isn't it funny. I am from the same planet Earth where US of A is and I look just like other "Homo Sapiens" yet I am classified and identified as an Alien.It's not only me, there are tens and thousands of people living in US of A who are x-communicated and categorized as Aliens.

Don't be surprised, Alien is a title used in US for all non US citizens, not the life from other planet. But it is not just this title that makes me an Alien in this country. There are so many other things that makes me feel like an Alien. For instance, my accent, my proper use of grammatical English in my speech, the words I use, the food I eat, the way I understand things, its everything around me that makes me feel like I am from a different planet.

It has been almost 5 years here in US and till date, I struggle with so many things in day to day life. The other day, I started a friendly conversation with my neighbors who recently rented the next door apartment and I asked them, did you shift recently? And the reply from the girl came, Excuse me?
I repeated my question, did you shift recently? And yet again, she asked the same question, sorry I didn't get you. In the back of my mind I was thinking, what the hell, I asked such a simple question but then immediately my tube light like mind lit and I re framed the question, did you move in recently? The girl smiled and said, Oh yeah, just a couple of days ago, still settling down, you know, and I smiled in return and said, yeah, I understand. See the question was same, just the word "shift" was wrong.

Now this one is funny, in US when you are asked if you want water and you don't want ice in it, don't ever say, water without ice. I tried that so many times, not because I wanted to observe but it's just my habit or the way I speak and 80% of the time, I get a glass of water with ice. So I learned after sometime that I need to tell in other way. So now when I am asked if I want water, I say yes please, water no ice.

Oh and this one is hilarious. Being an Indian, I share my facial structure, eyes, hair, etc. with Hispanic (Mexican/Spanish) people. So when I walk in some stores, usually, people at cashier or the store employees start talking to me in Spanish and I am always like, give me a break guys and immediately respond back with a shocked face and a reply, Sorry, I don't speak Spanish "no comprendo" meaning I don't understand.

These are just a few examples of why I feel like I am from outside of this world. There are some others that I wouldn't even want to mention. The worst thing is that when I come back to India, Indians think I am a foreigner and have got an accent and when I am here, people here think that I am a foreigner and have got an accent. Funny thing is, now I don't know what is my actual accent and which country I belong to :)

Guess, that's why US calls us immigrants as Aliens, people from the other world.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Honest Confession

Three years ago, something big happened in my life, something that I never imagined in my dreams or worst possibilities, but it was destined to happen and it happened. It was life changing and I am glad that it changed my life for some better things in Life, though it is also true that good doesn't come all by itself, it brings bad with it too. But the bottom line is that the good that came in my Life made others Life good as well, so no regrets of what happened back then.

I am sure after reading this my near and dear ones and all those who love me probably might feel angry, annoyed, agitated or even may feel sympathy. I can completely understand that, because that's what and how loved ones feel. But I hope they can understand and respect what I did and what I needed to do for others and more importantly, for myself. It was a big step that I took and was a major decision I made and it took me some months to realize the importance of it and understand and feel the inner satisfaction.

There was that time 3 years back when everything appeared so meaningless and out of place to me and then as things settled down and my mind started recouping, a thought came to mind and I decided that I will not Live my Life like this anymore. So I decided to help all those who needed help and who perhaps could but were unable to help themselves. I had very few options in front of me to move that path, either leave the job and get into helping people full time or continue with job and help them as best as possible. Leaving the job wasn't an option for the simple fact that it was my job that was keeping me stationed in this country so no matter what I do, I had to keep working. The second option appeared to be good because then I could have worked and earned enough to help others. So I decided that I would continue working and doing what I do and help people who needed the most. For last 3 years, every month, a big portion of my earning went out to support people in need to add some joy and smile in their lives and I am so happy that it made a difference. I knew Life would be tough, challenging and not so comfortable but it was something I had to do. I am capable of earning and making money enough to keep myself running and living a decent life so everything above that is something I can use for good.

Initially, I decided to help and support people till the day and time I am capable of and I am not stopping that anytime soon. Though, the denomination might decline for some time and rise again with time but it will continue to float. The help may not be monetary every time but I will try to be of help in some or the other way. It started with a feeling of dejection in Life for everything 3 years ago but gradually the meaning changed and it no more works that ways.

Life may be long, Life may be short, what makes it Lived are the Deeds we do to make it worth.
~~~ Peace...A.J